Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rhana Devenport media release

13 May 2013

Media Statement

Auckland Art Gallery Director Appointed 
Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA), the body that oversees Auckland’s arts, culture, heritage, leisure, sports and entertainment venues, has appointed Rhana Devenport as the new Director of Auckland Art Gallery.

Rhana Devenport is currently Director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth and has over 20 years experience curating exhibitions focusing on Australasian and international contemporary art practice.  She replaces former director Chris Saines who resigned in March 2013 to become the Director of the Queensland Art Gallery.  Ms Devenport will take up the position on 29 July 2013.

“Rhana was the leading candidate for the position from a very strong field, identified through a global executive search programme,” said Dame Jenny Gibbs, Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Regional Facilities Auckland, and the convener of the panel which made the appointment.  

Rhana has an extensive background in contemporary and modern art practice in New Zealand, and an excellent national and international network. She has a profound dedication to creating powerful links between art and audiences in exciting, innovative exhibitions and public programmes during over two decades of leadership and management experience in Australasian art museums, biennales and cultural festivals.

“For the last seven years, Rhana has led the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth where she has considerably enhanced its reputation as a leading and courageous contemporary art museum. She has worked on a number of fronts from curating a series of significant exhibitions, fundraising for the new Len Lye Centre, and deepening the relationship of the gallery with Maori and Pacific communities. We are delighted by the appointment,” said Dame Jenny.


For further information please contact Paul Brewer, Director External Relations, 021 532 920 or

Background information:


Rhana Devenport is a museum director, curator, writer, editor and cultural producer with over twenty years experience working with art museums, biennales, art festivals, private collections and cultural organisations. She is currently Director of New Zealand’s highly respected Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth. During her seven-year tenure she has broadened audiences, led the curatorial programme and played a key advocacy and fundraising role with the major Len Lye Centre expansion project that is now under construction.
Previously positions include Manager of Public Programmes with the Biennale of Sydney (2005-2006) and Senior Project Officer with the Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery (1994-2004), where she played a formative role in the Triennial’s development. She was also Curator in Residence with Artspace Auckland (2005) and Visual Arts Manager with the Sydney Festival (2004). Her early background is in education and she maintains a strong interest in audience growth and engagement.

She has initiated and curated major exhibitions, commissions and publications with contemporary New Zealand artists including Peter Robinson, Lisa Reihana, Bill Culbert, Fiona Jack, Fiona Pardington and Alex Monteith. She has a strong connection with cultural practice in Asia and the Pacific and has curated projects with leading international artists including Nam June Paik, Judith Wright, Nalini Malani, Lee Mingwei, Jin Jiangbo, Pinaree Sanpitak, Zhang Peili, Yin Xiuzhen and Song Dong. Rhana writes frequently for publications and journals and is a speaker at cultural events, having presented papers at symposia in Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Havana, Sydney, Tokyo, Vancouver and Vilnius, and most recently in Shanghai. She has undertaken internships in leading international art museums in Japan, the US and the UK, and has served on numerous cultural advisory panels nationally and internationally.

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